About this Research Topic
Metabolic engineering is rapidly expanding its chemical portfolio by engineering and designing industrial hosts to competitively produce high-value biomolecules. Recent advances are contributing to streamline the overall process from initial strain screening and selection to scaling up to full-scale industrial production. However, only a few producer strains have actually been translated to industrial production, and many important potential products still await in the pipeline. As the global chemical industry initiates its crucial transition from petrochemical processes to bio-based chemical processes, the development of advanced metabolic engineering strategies delivering high performance strains becomes top priority to meet future biomanufacturing demands.
This Research Topic addresses current challenges in metabolic engineering and how they contribute to one of the major goals of the bio-based economy, i.e., the development of economically feasible and sustainable biotechnological processes as alternatives to oil-based chemistry. To that end, accelerated reductions of the time from concept to development to scale-up are essential. Automated pipelines and biofoundries are leading the rapid design and prototyping of microbially-produced compounds by implementing strategies that facilitate the improvement of strains and enzyme performances and the enhanced production of chemical targets. In addition, systems and synthetic biological approaches can be fully exploited to achieve such a goal.
This Research Topic is associated, but not limited to, the works presented within the international conference "Metabolic Engineering 13" to be held in Honolulu on July 12th-16th, 2020. Authors are invited to submit a manuscript consisting of an Original Research paper or a Review relevant to the topic. Relevant topics will cover current advances on metabolic engineering including (but not limited to):
• non-conventional hosts
• adapted/directed evolution
• the increasing role of automation
• big data and machine/deep learning
• understanding and engineering of microbial community interactions
• biofoundries: strain engineering at the speed of automation
• lab to industrial scale: realizing the potential of a biobased economy
• plastics as a feedstock, not a product
• plant/mammalian metabolic engineering
• synthetic biology design and control of metabolism
• computational methods and models for metabolic pathway design
Drs. Pablo Carbonell and Stephen Fong hold patents related to the theme of this Research Topic. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: Metabolic Engineering, Directed Evolution, Microbial Communities, Biofoundries, Synthetic Biology, Cell Factories, Automation, Metabolic Pathway Design
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